Before you can lower your cholesterol levels, it’s necessary to understand it a little. Cholesterol is actually an umbrella term for two different types of blood fat. HDL, the so called “good” cholesterol is high density lipoprotein. LDL, or “bad” cholesterol is low density lipoprotein. What’s needed to have healthy numbers is to have increased HDL cholesterol and decreased LDL.
LDL cholesterol can cause problems in your arteries by clogging them up. This can lead to a heart attack. It can also increase your risk of blood clots, which can also cause heart attacks as well as pulmonary embolism and strokes. All three of these can be life threatening.
One of the most important ways to control your cholesterol numbers is via diet and exercise. Cutting back on foods high in LDL cholesterol is an important step. To do this, you will have to read labels and check charts on-line. Some of the foods you can eat safely may surprise you.
An example of that would be grass fed beef, which is as high in Omega-3 fatty acids as a piece of salmon. Certain cuts, whether grass fed or not, are also lower in fat and cholesterol than untrimmed boneless/skinless chicken breast.
While meat can still be part of your diet, it would be better to choose heart healthy fats, such as that found in the avocado or in olive oil. These are not saturated fats, and can actually improve heart health.
Exercise is important in any endeavor to improve your health. Researchers aren’t sure the mechanism of how exercise lowers cholesterol, but studies indicate that it does. It is a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise program so that you can find out what you can safely do.
Supplements: Many doctors, including cardiologists, recommend that their patients take fish oil and garlic supplements to help keep their cholesterol in check. Omega-3 fatty acids increase HDL levels, which can improve your cholesterol numbers greatly.
Garlic used to be the golden child when it comes to cholesterol control, but it may not be as good once thought. Studies are now mixed as to its benefits in cholesterol, but it is still considered helpful for blood pressure.
Fiber is another consideration in your fight against high cholesterol. It can block absorption in the stomach, and send it safely through the digestive track to be excreted.
All of these things can help improve your cholesterol numbers. However, you should work with your doctor to make sure they are working. You may need medications to help keep the numbers in the right area. You may also want to consult a nutritionist to improve your diet and a personal trainer to help you learn the exercises. That could prevent injuries.